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One of the most exciting milestones to celebrate is your baby’s first birthday! Unfortunately due lockdowns, restrictions and a whole pile of other impositions, we weren’t able to host any guests like we would have liked to, but still wanted to make this day incredibly special for our little girl. After all, you only turn one once!

Layla loves the outdoors and her nursery was designed with accessories of woodland creatures, in a feminine way. Because she loves her forest friends so much, we decided to incorporate that into the theme of her birthday party. Here is everything we did to make her woodland wonderland birthday party a success:

Party Decorations

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The one piece of this party that made it so magical had to be this incredible balloon arch that was done by Inflated Dreams YYC. I had sent a few examples over to them of what I was looking for and they took what I had imagined and made it even better than I could have dreamed it to be. These photos really do not do justice to the quality and majesty of this project (I clearly cannot say enough good things here!).

No detail was missed, right down to the blush pink number 1 balloon to celebrate that this was in fact a first birthday – and a memorable one!

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Every little detail of the forest friends theme came into play here! From the incorporation of the feminine colours with the woodland creatures mixed in to the addition of the flowers and greenery and beautiful gold butterflies that added a delicate touch of extra whimsy throughout. This is one of the most beautiful displays I have ever seen.

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Layla loves bunnies and foxes so incorporating those specific animals into her woodland creatures themed party was important to us. These balloons were the perfect way to do this. Often woodland or forest themes can lean more masculine, but with the blush and gold balloons and accent flowers and butterflies, this felt feminine in a beautiful way for her. She was so enchanted by this and loved to stare at it and point out new elements that she had discovered!

Need more balloon inspiration? Follow Inflated Dreams YYC on Instagram for all of their amazing creations!

Side note here, too: It was amazing to work with such an amazing family business. Inflated Dreams YYC was so incredible from start to finish and I cannot gush about them enough!

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This is a birthday party after all and so we had to incorporate a few of those “kiddie party” decorations from the store! We found this super cute ‘happy 1st birthday’ banner at our local grocery store that was bookended by card stock bunnies. They matched the paper plates and napkins that we found for the party, too.

Sweet Treats

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The main focus of most birthday parties is usually the cake! We knew that this one had to be special (because it’s the first one) and we wanted something that was on-theme. I don’t know if it was a coincidence of the season, but our favorite local bakery, Crave Cupcakes, had this cake showcased on their website! The moment we saw it we knew it would be perfect for her birthday.

The worst part was cutting it – the cake was so beautiful and Layla loved looking at it so much that we didn’t want to cut it! But we did….and it was so worth it!

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No cake smashing for this kid – she just politely ate her cake from her bowl and then asked for some milk afterwards (just like her Dad!). Because of her love of peanut butter we opted for classic chocolate cake with a peanut butter buttercream filling – and it was delicious!

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I wanted this day to be special and a little bit elaborate which is why I worked with Sugarbakers Cookie Co. here in Calgary. Their Instagram has always wowed me with the cookies that they create and I knew they would be able to create a batch of cookies that would complement our theme perfectly! How cute are these woodland themed cookies?!

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I seriously cannot get over the incredible detail of these forest friend cookies! The pink flower crowns on the bunnies (which match the balloons perfectly!) to even having both bucks and does for the little deer cookies, too!

P.S. These cookies not only looked spectacular, but were incredibly delicious as well! Sugarbakers Cookie Co. offer seasonal cookie designs as well as what feels like an infinite number of custom options for your next gathering!

Presents & Fun

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This was really Layla’s first experience opening gifts so the process was a bit confusing for her! Of course she was enamoured with the boxes more than some of the gifts themselves and a little terrified of the sound of tissue paper, but overall loved all of the surprises that came along with opening presents!

Birthday Party During Lockdown

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I’m not going to lie to you: so much of this party wasn’t what I thought it would be. We had hoped to invite a few of Layla’s little baby friends over, include grandparents and aunties, uncles and cousins, but strict government restrictions that were put in place kept us from doing so. I know that first birthday parties aren’t so much for the birthday kid as they are for the rest of the family, and I so so wanted these memories for ourselves.

Still opting to do the decorations and sweet treats really made the day special and memorable. Layla loved her balloon display, the magical look of her cake and cookies (and eating them, too) and all of the fun driveway visits that she was able to have from visitors coming to bring her gifts and well wishes.

At the end of the day, we have these lovely photos that she can look back on to see what her first birthday party was like and what we did to celebrate it with her.

On the other hand, too, it was also nice to be able to sit and share in the moments of her birthday, her experience of opening gifts and eating her cake and knowing the day was about her, without having to entertain guests or feeling pulled away from the excitement to refill drinks or ensure I was being a good hostess.

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